The drugs and alcohol that you use are only a small part of the overall problem when it comes to addiction. While ending the physical dependence is a major part of recovery, it’s only the first step. The primary causes of addiction are a person’s thoughts, emotions and behaviors that lead to substance abuse in the first place. Behavioral therapy is a method that The Hills Treatment Center uses to help begin healing your mind to prevent relapse.

Why Behavioral Therapy is so Important

woman receiving behavioral therapyEveryone has bad habits. However, addiction is much worse than a habit like biting your nails. Those with an addiction continue to exhibit behaviors that have very negative consequences. To an outsider, it seems to defy all logic. What individuals with addiction may have once been able to control is now something that they do compulsively. This happens because they have a psychological dependence to using drugs or alcohol.

Humans are animals that learn based on different rewards, beginning from the time that we’re babies. Before we can even talk, we learn that if we cry when we’re hungry, our caregiver will bring us food. This embeds a memory in our brain that tells us to repeat the behavior of crying when we’re hungry. Our ability to create these memories branches out more as we get older, incorporating many different aspects of our lives.

A primary example of how addiction develops is when a person begins to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. One may feel symptoms of anxiety and fear, drink alcohol and then feel calm. This sets that same memory. Every time the behavior of drinking solves the problem of feeling anxious, the brain begins to see that as a solution. This solution eventually becomes the problem, and behavior therapy helps to alter this compulsive behavior.

Identifying Triggers in Behavioral Therapy

In order to solve any problem, you need to get to the source. The Hills Treatment Center is here to help you do that. Through individual talk therapy at our addiction treatment facility, you’ll begin to be able to identify triggers. You’ll also begin to see the truth about some of your triggers and behaviors in group settings. Group therapy is a great way to identify triggers because you’ll see that you’re not the only one with this issue.

Common triggers for turning to drugs or alcohol can include:

  • Symptoms of mental illness
  • Boredom
  • Loneliness
  • Arguments with people in your life
  • Being around certain people or places

How Behavioral Therapy Works

The reason it’s so important to seek treatment is because changing behaviors takes practice. It’d be amazing if you could flip a switch and change your behaviors instantly, but that’s not how it works. Seeking treatment gives you the opportunity to begin putting new behaviors in practice. You’re going to experience similar triggers while in treatment, but you’ll be in a safe place.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based treatment process that involves replacing negative behaviors with positive ones. Once you’re able to identify your triggers, we can help you find healthy behaviors that will help you recover. This is one of the primary reasons we encourage 12-step programs at our facility. It gives you new options for dealing with those behaviors. Rather than picking up a drink or seeking out drugs when something triggers you, you can call your sponsor or go to a meeting.

Here at The Hills Treatment Center, we know that recovery can seem impossible. We’re happy to report that it’s entirely possible. We’ve helped many people, from a variety of backgrounds. As you’ll find in our drug rehab guide, our program can work for you. We pride ourselves in working with a diverse group of people. Call us today at 866-323-4665 to learn more about your treatment options.